This is XKCD being snarky and insightful as usual. Too many organizations think that managing their brand is the primary reason for a website and fail to address the needs of those using their websites.
"OK…so let me clarify that title. I honestly think textbooks are on their way out…or at least I hope they are. Really it should read “Flipboard as core curation artifact for classrooms” but that wouldn’t have you here reading now would it. "
"Thinking is troublesome. For one, it is an intimate act splicing time and space. It is done right here, but it spans moments in the pasts and reaches out uncertainly towards moments in the future. Put another way, you think in a singular, precise space about plural, imprecise times.
It also resists uniformity (and education loves uniformity). Thought hinges on schema (familiar forms and patterns we then impose unfamiliar data to make sense of it), and emotion (in part, our internal response to the former). It is as diverse as character, experience, and affection. It’s like defining art, establishing criteria for beauty, or causing love. And whether it knows it or not, education has a thinking problem."
Seth Dixon's insight:
What is your primary goal as a teacher? Do you teach social studies or do you teach students? While this may feel like we are splitting hairs, the distinction is an important one that is at the at the heart of your own pedagogical approach. This is some nice food for thought on the topic to reflect on how and why you teach.
How to give B.A.'s in arts and humanities more career options without abandoning the life of the mind.
Too many career-services offices seem to still see the primary objective of arts and humanities majors as graduate school, and do not give enough thought to their other options. Those offices focus their energies on students with degrees that are more easily marketed to potential employers. Professors want to help, of course, but most do not have recent experience outside of academe, and, just as important, they generally do not have nonacademic networks that can help undergraduates get job interviews. Some faculty members have experiences or political convictions that cause them to talk about the "corporate world" in negative terms.
And, of course, many arts and humanities departments rate their success on the basis of graduate-school placements, not on their ability to help B.A. students find good positions immediately after graduation. We celebrate the graduates who seem most like ourselves—the ones who set out to become academics—and we don't talk much about what happens to those graduates after they've earned their Ph.D.'s. Without that conversation, we ill serve many of our students, and we undercut the impact that our fields could have beyond academe.
Sponsored by Leadercast.com Created by Tripp and Tyler Produced by Green Tricycle Studios Cast: Tripp Crosby Beth PIlgreen Tyler Stanton Jon Raffa Paul Ryden...
Seth Dixon's insight:
In attempting to bring new technologies into the classroom, there are often some technical glitches that trip us up from time to time. This humorous look at a conference call is a nice reminder the try to rehearse things beforehand so that the technology doesn't get in the way of learning.
Those of us who came of age in the Internet era may not know that they owe their ability to go online to a court decision 30 years ago today about a mechanically intricate analog tape recorder.
The Supreme Court held by a vote of five to four that it is legal to sell a video recorder to a consumer. In his opinion for the majority Justice John Paul Stevens built twin foundations on which today’s consumer rights now rest. First, personal home recording and storage of an entire copyrighted work can be a lawful “fair use” of the work. Second, selling a product that has substantial non-infringing uses is lawful, even though it is commonly used to infringe. To rule otherwise, the court majority said, would be to enlarge the rights granted to copyright owners, so as to allow anyone whose work might be copied to effectively to control the right of technical innovators to market their own inventions. This, the court said, would “block the wheels of commerce.”
Without these twin protections for consumers and innovators, we could not today buy most consumer digital products or log on to most online services that search for, store, and respond to copyrighted information. All online services, as well as digital devices like DVRs, smartphones, and tablets, must routinely store and display copyrighted information and programming based on consumer searches and requests. Most do not or cannot require advance permission. The Internet itself would have remained a closed circuit primarily for government, educational, and industrial use. There would be no social networks.
Why do traditional paper books remain so popular, especially for deep, immersive reading? Are some people simply too stubborn and nostalgic to adapt to new technologies? Perhaps it's because paper books are themselves a highly sophisticated technology, one that's uniquely good at stimulating focus and concentration.
Seth Dixon's insight:
I love my Kindle more than I probably should, but that doesn't mean the hard copy of a book has been rendered obsolete.
"An annual year-end kindergarten show has been canceled at a New York school because the kids have to keep working so they will be “college and career” ready. Really.
That’s what it says in a letter (see below) sent to parents by Ellen Best-Laimit, the interim principal of Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, N.Y., and four kindergarten teachers. The play was to be staged over two days, May 14 and 15, according to the school’s calendar."
Seth Dixon's insight:
I'm all for education and promote our children to be college ready. I promise you that the only things that I remember from Kindergarten (that matter) are good feelings about learning and a sense of accomplishment. My handwriting was woefully sloppy, but I'm glad that didn't mean I could go out to play in playground and slap some paint on a butcher paper. The painting didn't help me get 'college ready' since I've no artistic training, but it was fun. Early education need to not lose sight of it's primary goal; have fun and let the kids learn how to learn. What they learn can be saved for another day. Teach kids to dread school when they are 5 and you've created jaded 6-year-olds.
What do rap shows, barbershop banter and Sunday services have in common? As Christopher Emdin says, they all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time — and it’s a skill we often don't teach to educators. The science advocate (and cofounder of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. with the GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan) offers a vision to make the classroom come alive.
"Are you too busy? You should be, and you should let people know in a proud but exasperated tone."
All day, I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t that busy. The way I did this was by silently repeating, “You’re not that busy.” Doing this did actually stop the tape in my head of what had to get done that day. I just calmly did one thing after another. I believe that means I was being mindful, or maybe living in the moment or being present but I’m not sure. And I am not going to check because if I give it a name, then it will be just one more thing you feel obligated to do. Instead just take one thing off your to-do list, which is telling everyone how busy you are.
Seth Dixon's insight:
People don't need to hear how busy we are; we need to rethink our own lives and see how we are part of the problem.
"Saying that it has always been this way, doesn’t count as a legitimate justification to why it should stay that way. Teacher and administrators all over the world are doing amazing things, but some of the things we are still doing, despite all the new solutions, research and ideas out there is, to put it mildly, incredible.I’m not saying we should just make the current system better… we should change it into something else."
"Some of the los al high teachers read some tweets made about them. This is a featured segment on Griffin News 2014, a school broadcast at Los Alamitos High."
Seth Dixon's insight:
This is very reminiscent of Jimmy Kimmel's sketch Celebrities Read Mean Tweets. This is a fun and embarrassing way to remind students (and teachers) to think before they tweet. If you wouldn't say it with a grown up in the room, you probably shouldn't broadcast the message online where it will be digitally archived.
In an attempt to add depth to the curriculum in America’s most popular advanced high-school courses, some local teachers threw out most of their lectures and replaced them with a series of projects. Results so far are encouraging.
"In some of the schools and districts I work with now, it’s really pretty depressing how many teachers just want to be told what to do. It’s not that they don’t care–it’s just a human defense mechanism kicking in. An insecurity of their own that’s tired of reaching and having their hand slapped, so they don’t.
They’ve learned to do what they’re told–they start with “district expectations” and work backwards from there. We toss around fun phrases like “team-player” to normalize this hurtful fascination education has with alignment and standardization. But by the time teachers turn policy and expectation and standards and curriculum maps into units, lessons and activities that actually reach the students, the zest for teaching and learning is barely recognizable.
And both approaches are wrong. Me for trying to fit it all in, and those that refuse to try and resign to being a mirror for “district policy” and “state-led initiatives.”
I do realize that, on paper, there’s no reason a teacher can’t do what they’re told and be amazing, but think for a moment about the best teachers you know. Do they do what they’re told, or do they simply do what needs to be done and navigate any fallout better than everyone else?"
Can we learn to reconnect without using our digital devices?
At weddings, guests tweet real-time of the festivities to friends far away. At sporting events, fans follow scores of games in other cities. In classrooms, students text with friends in other classes and parents out in the world. At funerals, mourners to pals in other places.
Everyone, it seems, is interacting more with people who are elsewhere — and less with the people around them. As technology seeps through society, dampening every dry aspect of our lives, something is happening to: the idea of being present; the desire to be in the moment; the notion of living right here and right now.
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